Buddha's Hand Citron - Yes! You should eat this thing.

Unlike lemons, Buddha's hand's pith is not bitter, and so can be used raw or cooked in baked goods, salads, alcoholic infusions, and preserves!

Unlike lemons, Buddha's hand's pith is not bitter, and so can be used raw or cooked in baked goods, salads, alcoholic infusions, and preserves!

Buddha’s Hand, likely originating in India more than 2,000 years ago, is considered a religious offering in Buddhist temples. The fruit acts as a symbol for happiness, longevity and good fortune, and is typically given as a New Year's gift.


Buddha's Hand is a citron, an ancestor of lemons and oranges, and is made of only sweet rind: no fruit, no pulp, no seeds, and no juice. It peaks in the winter months, and lucky for the Palouse, is available at the Moscow Food Co-op right now!

Here are a few ways to use this unusual and aromatic fruit:

  1. Eat it raw: The fruit works the same as anything you'd use lemon rind for: Thin slices or zested Buddha's hand are great for use atop salads or in vinaigrette, or to garnish dishes with an additional fragrant flavor.

  2. Candy it: Buddha's hand lacks the bitter rind flavor of oranges and lemons, and is perfect for use in fruitcakes or unique cocktails. The candied citron pieces can be stored in a jar at room temperature for a few weeks, but can be refrigerated for up to six months. One 8 oz. fresh citron will yield about one cup of candied pieces. Follow this recipe by David Lebovitz to learn more!

  3. Refresh your home: The Buddha's fruit is extremely fragrant. Slice pieces off to impart a lemony, fresh scent in different rooms. A few swipes with a Microplane or cheese grater will release a potent perfume.

  4. Make a liqueur: Buddhacello? Buddha's Hand is an ultra-aromatic alternative to the traditional Italian lemon infusion. We found this recipe from Theresa Blackburn that includes a recipe for Buddha's hand liqueur and an aromatic simple syrup recipe for use in subsequent cocktails!

Cherimoya: The Greatest Fruit on the Planet? Probably.


“We had an abundance of fruit in Honolulu, of course. Oranges, pine-apples, bananas, strawberries, lemons, limes, mangoes, guavas, melons, and a rare and curious luxury called the cherimoya, which is deliciousness itself.” 

(Mark Twain, Roughing It, 1872)

Creamy, sweet and smooth, cherimoya has been called by Purdue University "certainly the most esteemed of the fruits..." and we're inclined to agree. We love this fruit.

Here's why:

  1. You can eat them raw: Easily broken or cut to expose the pleasant fragrance and delicious, custard-like fruit, they're usually eaten like an avocado: scooped out with a spoon, or cut in half lengthwise and peeled. This is our favorite way to consume all the interesting fruit that comes through the Co-op! Cherimoya fruit is creamy like a banana, but with a subtle flavor reminiscent of vanilla and pears. Some people taste pineapple or mango or even bubblegum, and ours at the Moscow Food Co-op are rather sweet and smooth.
  2. Actually, you can eat them in a ton of different ways. Thick dark seeds pop up throughout the flesh of this unique fruit, so be sure to cut your pieces into cubes before adding them to your favorite smoothie recipes. The cherimoya will add a delightfully creamy texture and sweet flavor to any smoothie or morning drink, and can easily replace bananas for unique new variety. Cherimoya can also be cut into cubes, pureed, and used as a mousse or pie filling. 
  3. Cherimoya seeds have interesting medicinal uses, and are toxic if crushed! Cherimoya seeds, if kept dry, will remain viable for several years. The seeds can be toasted, peeled and pulverized... the powder taken with water or milk can be used as a potent emetic and cathartic. Mixed with grease, the powder from the seeds is used to kill lice and is applied on parasitic skin disorders. Yikes! We'll stick to just eating the fruit. :-)
  4. With zero saturated fat, cherimoyas are cholesterol-free, high in fiber, iron, and niacin, and contain powerful cytotoxins that are said to combat cancer, malaria, and human parasites. They're high in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that helps the body resist infection, as well as a good source of B vitamins, notably vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), which provides 20 percent of the daily recommended value.

Come down to the Moscow Food Co-op and grab one of these delicious beauties today!